11 Beers to Drink and Enjoy for the Brewski Newbie

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WASHINGTON, DC May 4: Pale Ales photographed on May 4, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

5.) American Pale Ales

American pale ales (APAs) are a distinctly American style of beer, developed in the United States sometime around 1980. This style is somewhere between an amber ale and an India pale ale (to be discussed in just a minute), though ambers tend to be maltier and IPAs are heavier on the hops.

APAs and IPAs are variants of the pale ale tradition, a largely British style of brewing beer that uses pale malt. Barley is used to make most pale malts, which are toasted at relatively low temperatures in order to preserve most of the enzymes in the grain. The term “pale ale” first appeared in the early 1700s and has been an entrenched British beer for centuries.

The first well-received batch of experimental APA was made by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, based in Chico, California. Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is currently the second-best selling craft beer in the United States, after the Samuel Adams Boston Lager. New Albion Brewing Company and Yakima Brewing also created early popular APA beers in the mid-1980s, inspired in large part by beers sampled in the U.K.

IBUs for APAs are usually between 30-45 units. ABV is between 4.5-6%. If the hops flavors in other styles are starting to grow on you, then an APA is a smart next step.

APAs to try: